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  • Maestro Amaradeva's singular contribution towards Sri Lankan indigenous music tradition By Ranga CHANDRARATHNE (0)

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     Kandanarchchi intones unplugged Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  Administrator
     Dated:  Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:40 PM EST
     Viewed:  1977 times  
    Sri Lanka Music SceneBy Uvindu Illperuma

    People have now grown tired of too much electronic music. They need a sound and serene deviation

    His music is to address our mind and his songs link our hearts. Chandrakumara Kandanarachchi, a singer still alive in our hearts with his classic songs of the 70s and 80s which were top hits of the day will launch a CD of 12 songs which is adored with the unplugged music.

    Speaking on why he employed unplugged music Kandanarachchi said:

    “Now people have had enough of this electronic music. Though music, generated through electrical instruments, has become an essential feature to the stage it lacks the discipline of calmness which is now the need. That’s why I have come up with this effort to thrill the song lover with a different taste.”

    People, now sandwiched in a busy schedule, have no spare time to listen to songs.

    They listen to them while at work or travelling. Kandanarachchi aims this busy clan who loves music.

    The CD album is christened as ‘Memories of the 70s 80s 90s’. Since 70s were the golden days of Sri Lankan music Chandrakumara is also among the immortal list of names of singers of the time. The significance of the singers of 70s is that they are known not only to the song lovers of the time but also to the young people who were not to see most of the singers alive since most of the singers of the time are no more.

    Chandrakumara’s simple songs have a great impact with his deep voice enriched with somewhat base quality. Definitely Chandrakumara will claim more share in the hearts of Sri Lankan song fans.


     Icon of local music Clarence’s 14th death anniversary falls on December 13 Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  Administrator
     Dated:  Tuesday, December 07 2010 @ 07:36 PM EST
     Viewed:  2180 times  
    Sri Lanka Music SceneIshara Jayawardane

    A musical show to commemorate the 14th death anniversary of Clarence Wijewardena will take place at the Kularatne Hall, Ananda College on December 12 at 7pm.

    “Clarence is very special as far as Sinhala music is concerned. Clarence had a god-given talent where he could compose a song in five minutes. The music just flows and the ideas just come through. He can compose a song, write lyrics, do the melody completely.” Said DK Promotions Head Damayantha Kuruppu.

    Clarence was born in Haputale and subsequently came to Ratnapura where he formed the band Moonstones. From there he was bought to Colombo by Sri Sangabo Corea in 1967, and they became a household name. Clarence revolutionized Sinhala music by introducing new culture and he is the godfather of Sinhala pop.

    Kuruppu pointed out that Wijewardena came across a different concept in a different style of music. He introduced the guitar culture, the electric guitar, to Sinhala music. That is why Clarence Wijewardena is called the godfather of Sinhala pop.

    After coming to Colombo from Ratnapura he continued to run the moonstones and created so many hits and subsequently left the band.

    Before he left Moonstones he also discovered Indrani Perera and did a song called Dilhani which became an all time hit.

    Subsequently he formed the band Golden Chimes and then formed a band called super golden chimes.

    Soon he began his career as a solo artiste and also as a music producer where he did music for movies. He also started to write songs for other singers such as Amradeva, H R Jothipala and Milton Mallawaarachchi.

    “He has composed more than 2000 songs, which is a lot. We have only heard about 1000 songs.

    There are still unheard songs of Clarence. His creativity has contributed so much to Sinhala music.” Added Damayantha Kuruppu.

    The artistes performing at the concert are paying tribute are Lankika Perera, Anil Bharati, Rukshan Perera, Ranil Mallawarachchi, Winslow Six, Lalith Ponnamperuma, Vernon Perera, Angelina Gunatillake, Chethana Ranasinghe, Isuru Jayarathne and Manik Chandrika.

    The music is by Vision. Main sponsors are Daily News, Sunday Observer, Silumina, TV Derana and FM Derana.

    “I’m also hoping to have clips of Clarence recorded while he was alive. These songs will be sung by himself and the audience will be able to see him on the giant screen performing,” said Damayantha Kuruppu.

    The show will be for all Clarence fans and people who appreciate good Sinhala pop music.

    “I hope the younger generation will come because Clarence revolutionized music for audiences at that time. We are trying to preserve traditional Sinhala pop music” stated Kuruppu.”

    People who contact Damayantha Kuruppu on 0777744950 for information will receive a surprise gift.

    “I have a surprise gift for people who contact me on this number. This is only for Daily News readers.” concluded Kuruppu.


     Rukmani Devi: Sri Lanka’s nightingale by Stanley E Abeynayake Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  Administrator
     Dated:  Monday, December 06 2010 @ 06:35 PM EST
     Viewed:  3772 times  
    Sri Lanka Music Scene The 32nd death anniversary of Rukmani Devi, the nightingale of Sri Lanka in Sinhalese singing counterpart of Latha Mangeskhar, the excellent songstress in India. Undoubtedly she would be fell recently remembered on that memorable occasion with nostalgic memories by all music lovers, those who were near and dear to her and her film fans all over the island. Born as Daisy Daniels at Ramboda near Nuwara-Eliya in the early 1920s’, her father was of Indian Tamil origin who had settled down in our country. The Daniels were blessed with daughters.

    Rukmani Devi as she was known in the fascinating world of films, also reigned supreme as the Queen of Melody for many decades. The first lady of the screen commenced her schooling at St Mathews’ College, Dematagoda, Colombo 9 and later attended St Clare’s Girls’ College, Wellawatte and Methodist College, Colombo. By this time they came to live in Colombo and later Moratuwa.

    That pigtailed schoolgirl of seven first became known as the girl with the voice of an angel when she participated in Christmas Carols at her last two schools. However, her first mentor in recital was Chandralekha, a teacher at St Mathews’ and the wife of the wellknown artist J D A Perera. But it was that well loved favourite ‘Whispering Hope’ which she sang as the distraught wife in the Christmas play The Cobbler’s Wife staged by the pupils of St Clarkes which put her on the road to fame.


     Pandit W D Amaradeva’s birthday Dec 05th : Maestro in Sinhala music Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  Administrator
     Dated:  Friday, December 03 2010 @ 08:31 PM EST
     Viewed:  2805 times  
    Sri Lanka Music SceneWhy we love Pandit Amaradeva:

    By Carlo FONSEKA

    Amaradeva is the creator of modern Sinhala Music. His biography is its history. He set out to discover the genuine idiom of Sinhala music, the highest development of which to date is the art song. He sensed that in this Indian isle called Lanka the foundation of its music had to be based on the Indian raagahadhari tradition. It had to derive its sustenance from Lanka’s folk music. Its enrichment had to come from judicious interaction with other musical traditions of humankind. His is the recipe that empowered Amaradeva to elevate the minor musical genre song to the level of serious art.

    Amaradeva has composed and sung some of the best songs - the musical gems - ever created in the universe of Sinhala music. Dr Lester James Peries the Founding Father of Sinhala cinema, judged that Amaradeva’s voice “is the greatest musical instrument we have in this country”. The magic of his voice, the exquisite permutations and combinations of notes that comprise his melodic creations, the pristine perfection of his pitch and his impeccable phrasing add up to make him an absolutely unique vocal artiste.

    In its strictest sense absolutely unique means the sole existing specimen. And that precisely is what he is. In the Kingdom of Sinhala music Amaradeva has long been the anointed sovereign. It is true to say that the more we know him the more we love him; but the more we know of him, the less there is that is both original and significant we have to say about him. So all one can do at this point in time is to ask rhetorically: “When comes such another?” and answer: “Never”.


     K Jayathilaka: Living icon of Sinhala literature Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  Administrator
     Dated:  Wednesday, November 03 2010 @ 07:23 PM EDT
     Viewed:  2885 times  
    Book ReviewsDr Ruwan M Jayatunge

    Endowed Sri Lankan writer K Jayathilaka is one of the pioneers of Sinhalese realistic novel. As a creative writer, he exhibited his talents since early 1960s. His novels and short stories represent the ironical social perspectives and had a profound impact on Sinhalese literature. Jayathilaka demonstrated talents that could be compared to that of the greatest literary genius Martin Wicramasinghe.

    He contributed to a wide range of literature from novels to short stories as well as children's literature. Jayathilaka has authored nearly 12 children's books and he added some of his childhood experiences to these books. His autobiography that narrates his childhood, Punchi Pele Gasavena, reminds us the first book of an autobiographical trilogy by Maxim Gorky, Deistva (childhood). In Punchi Palle Gasavena autobiography Jayathilaka expresses some of the social injustices that he experienced as a child.

    The children's books of Jayathilaka vibrantly describe the relationship between the environment and the child. His children's books enhance the stable concepts as well as mental reasoning and magical beliefs in children. His books especially Irunu Balala (Torn Cat), Oralosuwa (Timepiece) help children recognize logical relationships in elements and improve the ability to view things from the perspective of others. These books are truly facilitating children to use logic in the concrete operational stage. As the Child Psychologist Jean Piaget stated, by the concrete operational stage, children are able to use logic and this ability can be improved by the external support.

     Rev Fr Marcellin Jayakody by Ananda Jayasena Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  Administrator
     Dated:  Sunday, September 26 2010 @ 09:08 PM EDT
     Viewed:  2566 times  
    Sri Lanka Music Scene His birthday was on June 3 and died in September and if he had lived he would have been 110 years old today. Father Marcelline Jayakody was a gifted musician, talented composer, outstanding lyricist, a good writer and above all a down to earth priest.

    He hailed from Sandalawaka and his father was a reputed native doctor and an ardent Catholic. His mother was a born Buddhist and converted to Catholicism after marriage.

    Father Jayakody attended the village school first and then to Madampe Junior School and ended up at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo.

    Quite early in his life he entered the Borella Seminary and became a priest in 1920s. He was the Assistant Parish Priest at Wattala St. Anne’s and from there he was transferred to St. Sebastian’s Church, Kandana again as an Assistant.

    He was made the Parish Priest at Duwa in Negombo. At Duwa he became very popular during his two year period as he was the first to start the Duwa Passion Play by using human beings instead of puppets. By this time the play became more natural, realistic and popular. When time went by he used Sinhalese poem for the functions of the church instead of Latin hymns.

    He started decorating the church with ‘Gokkola’ and lotus flowers for church functions to which the elderly and westernized priests objected and showed displeasure. During his young days he was a rebel and without getting the permission of the Archbishop or informing him, Fr Jayakody left to India and joined the famous Shanthiniketan and studied music there for three years and on his return as a punishment after a disciplinary enquiry was held, he was transferred to St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna as a teacher and a parish was not given.

    He served there for about 4 years and was brought back to St Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya. This was in 1955.

    I met this affable priest for the first time in 1958, when I joined the Police and came on transfer to Kollupitiya. From that day onwards till he died, I moved with him very closely, at least meeting him once a month.

    Whilst in conversation once, he told me that he learnt his Tamil on his punishment tour to Jaffna and his best period in musical work and literary affairs, was the time he was a parish priest in Maggona.

    There he had composed songs like ‘Malate Vadina Bingu Obei’ and ‘Obai Ape Ratai.’ During this period Fr Jayakody had been specially selected to train a batch of 100 girls to sing ‘Namo Namo Matha’ at the first Independence celebrations held at the Independence Square on February 4, 1948.

    In 1956, Fr Jayakody wrote the lyrics for the music of maestro Sunil Santha for the film ‘Rekawa’ produced by Sir Lester James Peries. Those songs are so popular, the Lake House group of papers selected him as the most popular person in the production of the film.

    Later he published a book called ‘Mutu’ which was a collection of poems written by him. He was awarded the first prize and won the Magsaysay award for that year.

    He was popular with the Buddhist clergy too, and they named him as the Catholic priest of the Buddhist temple. After retirement as a parish priest Fr Jayakody stayed at St Anne’s Church, Pilapitiya, Kelaniya for about 3 years and he had a well kept two rooms, by the Church, located by the river.

    Some time later Fr Jayakody came to reside at 228, Havelock Road, Colombo 5. This was a building donated to the Church by a lady known to him.

    Here too, he occupied two rooms, one to sleep, the other his study.

    The main building was occupied by Rev Fr Joe de Mel and later by Rev Fr Ernest Porutota.

    At old age, as a practice Catholic priests are sent to a special place close to St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 10, but he was reluctant to stay as a inactive priest.

    I visited him very frequently at his last stages as I was stationed in Colombo. One afternoon he was taken ill and taken to a private hospital in Colombo where he left the earthly domain, went beyond, never to return. Just before he passed away, he gave me a framed photograph of Virgin Mary with Infant Jesus in her arms. I am an ardent practising Buddhist. But in my bed room a miniature electric bulb burns on it through day and night to remember late Fr. Jayakody.


     Timeless nightingale Rukmani Devi’s 32nd death anniversary on September 25 Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  Administrator
     Dated:  Tuesday, September 14 2010 @ 08:26 PM EDT
     Viewed:  1840 times  
    Sri Lanka Music SceneBy Channa Bandara Wijekoon

    Four decades back, a photograph of a sultry young woman appeared in the cover page of India’s film magazine Film fare. Her name appeared as Daisy Rasamma Daniels.

    This photograph sent shock waves across Bollywood. Popular and beautiful actresses in Hindi film arena became so curious to find out who this young and alluring actress was…where she came from and most importantly…whether she was going to be competition to them.

    The girl in the cover page was none other than our very own Rukmani Devi. She was making her debut as a film actress and was in India to shoot Kadawunu Poronduwa.

    Like Neil Armstrong who first stepped on the Moon, Rukmani Devi made history as the Sri Lankan actress who portrayed the main role in the first ever Sinhala film to be screened in Ceylon. (Rajakeeya Vikramaya, which starred the late politician N M Perera in the lead role was however made before Kadawunu Poronduwa. The film could not be screened in Sri Lanka as its negatives were burnt mysteriously on the verge of its first screening.)

    The magic that Rukmani wove was in her charisma. She was a powerful screen presence and her mesmerizing voice took listeners in a journey towards Never land. Her fans were totally obsessed by her charms and were at the edge of their seats whenever a close up shot of Rukmani appeared on screen. The poignant magic in her eye contact sent shivers through their bodies and they made her their heartthrob instantly.

    Not only filmgoers but co-stars too were her secret admirers. The late Herbert M Seneviratne of Handapaana fame once admitted that he fell in love with Rukmani when he first saw her but was scared to let slip his feelings since she was married to Eddie Jayamanne.

    Nevertheless, Rukmani did maintain a reputation as a well-disciplined and well-groomed artiste and had given helping hand to many a newcomer. Once Malani Fonseka claimed that Rukmani was like a mother to her in the sets. She had given her useful advice and guidance.

    She came into limelight in 1938 by singing the duet Siri Buddhagaya Vihare with Rupasinghe Master. This was a Gramophone song. Later she joined Minerva Dramatic club and performed in various stage dramas produced by BAW Jayamanne who was the founder and team leader. Her powerful voice was soon distinguished between contemporary voices, which opened new vistas for young Daisy.

    The Minerva stage play Broken Promise was adapted to a screen version as Kadawunu Poronduwa (KP) with the same cast. At this time, Daisy was romancing with Jayamanne, who was BAW’s younger brother. The promise made by Eddie to Rukmani in the sets of KP and in Negombo beach, was never broken. They married amidst enormous resistance from Daisy’s father and relatives.

    Kadawunu Poronduwa was screened on January 21, 1947. Filmgoers flocked in great numbers to cinemas to see the film. Damsels were eager to adopt ‘Rukmani Looks’ to woo their lovers. Men were on the look for duplicate Rukmanis. By this time, Daisy Rasamma’s name had been changed as Rukmani Devi. From this point onwards, this beautiful artiste treads a long journey as a film star and a songstress for many decades.

    She performed in films such as Weradunu Kurumanama, Kele handa , Umathu Vishvasaya, Daivayogaya , Mathabhedaya and Ahasin Polowata. Rukmani Devi the songstress had sung popular hits such as Sandavae Sriya, Gala Kandehi , Mevila Penevi Rupe etc. In the mid 60s decade she sang Malbara Himidiriye, Menike Obe Hinawe and Sandak Nege with the Calypso group Los Cabelleros led by late Neville Fernando.

    She also sang duets with upcoming young singers. Oba Yana Mawatha was one such song Rukmani sang with Victor Ratnayake. The rare soprano singing ability of Rukmani could have groomed her as a world class Opera Singer, if she was born in a Western country.

    A tragic motor accident at Ja- ela robbed Rukmani’s life on September 25, 1978. Rukmani Devi Museum was subsequently situated in Negombo. Rukmani and Eddie had first dated at Negombo beach. A remake of Kadawunu Poronduwa directed by Roy de Silva in 80s decade featured Vijaya Kumaratunga, Sumana Amarasinghe , Eddie Jayamanne and Mable Blyth. Source:

     Siiyage Pinkama Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  srimeth
     Dated:  Sunday, September 12 2010 @ 10:47 PM EDT
     Viewed:  1329 times  
    Poems & Short Stories

     Upandina pathuma Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  srimeth
     Dated:  Sunday, August 29 2010 @ 11:03 PM EDT
     Viewed:  2161 times  
    Poems & Short Stories

     Nanda malini back on stage by Ishara Jayawardane Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
     Author:  Administrator
     Dated:  Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 08:32 PM EDT
     Viewed:  1335 times  
    Sri Lanka Music Scene Enchanting vocalist Nanda Malini in partnership with Sirasa FM will launch a musical extravaganza consisting of 25 concerts Island wide featuring live solo performances by the songstress.

    This provides an opportunity for hundreds to see this legendary artist perform. Shwetha Rathriya is the beginning of these concerts to its culmination in December 2011. The concerts will take place throughout the island within a time period of one and a half years.

    “In its 17 year history, Sirasa has had a powerful bond with Sri Lankan contemporary music as well as a long history. As a radio station we have had many musical promotions being faithful to our listeners.

    “We have been innovative and original. Throughout its history Sirasa FM has spearheaded the radio industry” said Sirasa FM Channel Head S.M. Marikkar.

    In her early life Nanda sang songs in her school concerts and later she started singing in children’s programs conducted by Karunaratne Abeysekera and Sarath Wimalaweera.

    She had her musical training at Lalitha Kala institute, and was trained under musicians like Makshudh Ali Sahab, B. Victor perera and Premadasa Mudunkotuwa

    In 1968 she was successful in obtaining the highest grade as a singer. She was felicitated as the best background singer in films in the first Sarasavi award festival.

    “I was inactive for 22 years. There is a whole new generation who hasn’t heard my singing. During my absence I still harbored a passion to sing” said she.

    In 1988, December 16, she performed her 250th concert and for 22 years has been inactive.

    “Sirasa FM is pleased to be in partnership with Nanda. Sirasa works to give ultimate enjoyment to its loyal listeners. There is a place for classical music in Sri Lanka and an audience. There is another idea behind these concerts, which is to expose the younger generation to classical music” said MBC CEO Shanthi Bagirathan.

    Bagirathan went on to say that MBC/MTV network in the last few decades has been part and parcel of Sri Lanka’s entertainment and have always encouraged programs of good quality.

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